Chiropractic needs

Take a crack at this method to recover from sports injuries

Alexandra Whitlock, Editor-in-chief

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Sometimes it seems like when it comes to HPHS sports, the only things more common than championships are sports injuries. According to Dr. Mary Collings, a local chiropractor known affectionately to many students as “Dr. Mary”, this is not a new phenomena.  

“I have been practicing for 25 years and have treated students consistently throughout this time,” Collings said. “I don’t believe injuries have necessarily increased, but there are definitely more athletic programs within and outside the school such as select teams and outside dance classes.”

For many injured athletes, a visit to the chiropractor can be just the ticket to getting back into the game. Senior basketball captain Caroline Keogh agrees.

“I have been to a chiropractor for a knee injury,” Keogh said. “My injury was caused by basketball because it is very strenuous on your knees. The chiropractor helped realign my hips because one of them [my legs] was longer than the other, and she popped my back and neck, and it really helped because my whole body was tight.”

Junior Belle Mary Frances McElroy sees a lot of dance injuries, and she sees the advantages of having a chiropractor look at one’s injuries.

“They adjust me in ways that I wouldn’t be able to do myself,” McElroy said.

Collings explains the benefits of seeing a chiropractor to all of her patients. A chiropractic adjustment can significantly reduce back and neck pain in a non-invasive way. Chiropractic treatment refers to a hands-on spinal manipulation and other adjunctive treatments, exercises and stretching instruction to properly realign the body’s musculoskeletal structure, enabling the body to heal itself. The adjustment restores mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury, from trauma or from repetitive stresses such as sitting with bad posture, for an extended time; it also improves performance, injury prevention and quicker recovery.

“Personally, it’s definitely been a benefit because it not only improved my dancing, but I feel a difference whenever I am dancing,” McElroy said.

According to Collings, seeing a chiropractor can provide benefits outside of treating an injury.

“Chiropractic can also offer strategies for gaining a competitive edge for sports such as pre-competition preparation, competition endurance and all aspects of injury prevention and care coordination,” Collings said. “I think a good amount of people use chiropractors for their injuries, but I think more people need to be using a chiropractor because it is not only beneficial for your injury, but also your overall health.”

In fact, even non-athletes can benefit from a chiropractor.  As younger generations use more technology including smartphones and computers, it puts more stress on the spinal cord due to the poor posture. Not only can an adjustment from the chiropractor fix this issue, but these doctors can also teach the patients healthy habits about posture and the importance of sitting correctly when doing homework, working or relaxing.

“Many injuries result from overuse, such as repetitive use syndrome, which comes from placing stress on the musculoskeletal system,” Collings said. “It is caused by not using proper techniques or form and poor equipment such as athletic shoes.”

Collings, for example, recommends home care treatments to her patients in order to further improve their injuries in a hastened manner. She endorses stretching, certain types of exercise and rest.

Caroline Keogh is one who benefitted from this approach.  

“I had to use ice packs and heating packs to help my recovery, heat for before a workout or physical therapy session and ice for after once it had been irritated by the workout,” Keogh said.

No matter what people use to help recover from sports injuries, chiropractic methods seem to be favored for students involved in athletics.

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